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What Is the Holy Spirit’s Role in a Believer’s Life?

As a part of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit plays a vital role in believers’ lives by sealing their salvation and allowing them to commune with God intimately. However, even mature Christians who have been saved may wonder who the Holy Spirit is and what His role is in their lives. 

 

Scripture gives us 3 key truths about who the Holy Spirit is:

 

  • He is part of God’s triune nature.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”—2 Corinthians 13:14

 

  • He is a gift from God to believers. 

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”—Acts 2:38

 

  • He is our Helper.

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”—John 14:16-17

 

Knowing who the Holy Spirit is helps us discern the Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of modern-day believers.

What Is the Holy Spirit’s Role?

The Holy Spirit’s role is to seal believers’ salvation, reveal God’s thoughts, and teach and guide believers. He fills believers with strength and wisdom, intercedes for them, and gives spiritual gifts. As He dwells inside each believer, He fulfills various roles and functions.

 

  • He gives life and makes us new. 

“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”—Romans 8:10-11

 

God cannot dwell in a sinful place. Because He lives in us, we must die to our fleshly desires. The “old you” must die, and as you submit to the power of the Holy Spirit, your desires will change, and your life will begin to produce spiritual fruit.   

 

  • He teaches us.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”—John 14:26

 

When Jesus ascended back into heaven, He promised to send the Holy Spirit to teach the disciples what they should do and equip them to carry out the Great Commission. He continued the work Jesus began on earth in the disciples' lives. Today, the Holy Spirit’s role is to help us discern God’s will and hear His voice as we read the Bible and pray. 

 

  • He dwells inside us.

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

God’s temple is holy and should not be treated disrespectfully. He gave us these bodies to steward, and knowing that the Holy Spirit lives inside us makes it even more important to ensure that our words, thoughts, and actions glorify God. 

 

  • He produces fruit in us.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22-23

 

The fruit of the spirit is the result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. These are things that every believer experiences as they submit themselves to the Spirit’s leading. He prunes and cultivates our hearts so we can produce fruit that draws people to Jesus. 

 

  • He gives spiritual gifts.

“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all… But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”—1 Corinthians 12:4-7 & 11

 

Part of the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives is giving each believer spiritual gifts. Your spiritual gift often aligns with the talents and passions God has given you. Knowing which gifts you have is important so you can use them to bring God glory in a specific area of ministry. Although the Spirit distributes the gifts individually, God desires that all of the gifts will work together to serve the body of Christ in your local church.

Two men smiling at church while discussing the Holy Spirit’s role in giving spiritual gifts.

  • He convicts us of sin.

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…”—John 16:7-8

 

The Holy Spirit’s role in the life of a believer is to expose and convict them of sin. Once a believer recognizes their sin, the Spirit’s conviction prompts them to repent and seek forgiveness from God. The Holy Spirit is how we maintain communion and a right relationship with God.

 

  • He gives us power.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”—Acts 1:8

 

The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be witnesses of the Gospel. He fills us with wisdom, gives us the words to speak, and emboldens us to proclaim the truth. 

 

  • He gives wisdom.

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”—1 Corinthians 2:10-11

 

God’s infinite wisdom is beyond the capacity of our finite understanding. We need the Spirit to discern His voice and know His will for us. The Holy Spirit’s role is to act as an intercessor between us and God, looking into the deep things of God and relaying them back to us as He sees fit.

 

  • He seals our salvation in Christ.

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”—Ephesians 1:13-14

 

The Holy Spirit seals believers and sets them apart for God’s purposes. However, believers must first put their faith in God and trust His Word is true. They must believe He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. 

 

  • He intercedes for us.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”—Romans 8:26-27

 

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we do not know what to pray. He articulates the groanings in our hearts to God and searches our hearts to guide our prayers according to God’s will.

 

Why Knowing the Holy Spirit’s Role Is Important

The Holy Spirit convicts believers of sin, fills us with God’s strength and wisdom, and produces fruit that draws people to Jesus. When we place our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit dwells inside us. This permanent indwelling means we can never lose His presence. Understanding the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives helps us discover the good work God prepared for us to do.